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The Hindu

Assam tackling illegal migration, West Bengal is not, says Amit Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday attributed the “lack of success” in preventing illegal migration from Bangladesh to the non-cooperation of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) government.

Speaking at a rally in Guwahati to mark the first anniversary of Himanta Biswa Sarma’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, he indicated West Bengal has become a hurdle before the Centre’s bid to check “infiltration” along the India-Bangladesh border.

“The Assam government is helping the Centre by standing like a wall against infiltration. This is why we are getting a lot of success in Assam. But there is no success in Bengal because of non-cooperation there,” the Home Minister said.

Mr Shah, who visited the India-Bangladesh border on Monday, said there were data to show that the cases of illegal migration got reduced substantially under the BJP rule since 2016. “Some works are left and once they are completed, infiltration can be completely checked,” he said.

He lauded the Assam government for clearing the encroachment of land belonging to the satras or Vaishnav monasteries. “As promised, about 10,700 bighas of satra land has been freed of infiltrators by the BJP government,” he said.

“We had also promised that we will not allow the smuggling of cows to Bangladesh through Assam. I can proudly say today that all doors have been shut. The smugglers are now afraid of the Assam police from Assam to Hyderabad,” he claimed.

Mr Shah also claimed some common features of Assam in the past, such as violence, agitation, insurgency have been replaced by peace, development, health and education under the BJP – first by former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and then his successor, Mr Sarma.

Reign of peace

The reign of peace was the prime reason why the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was removed from Assam, he said. “After 30 years, AFSPA has been removed from 60% areas of Assam. Under Congress, AFSPA was extended 60 times,” he added.

Mr Shah lauded Assam and its north-eastern neighbours for efforts to resolve decades-old interstate boundary disputes.

Earlier in the day, he presented the President’s Colour Award to the Assam police for exemplary service during the past 25 years. Assam is the tenth state in the country to receive this honour.